Rowledge Village Fayre – 4th June

I have been contacted again this year by Bob Blackman who is organising Rowledge Village Fayre.  WSP have been offered a table, no charge, but a donation would be appreciated.

They are expecting 2000 people, so nice local event if someone from WSP would like to take part.

Let me know if you are interested and I will pass on Bob’s contact details to you.


Bat Amnesty

John Cressey from Friday afternoon has recently and kindly made another set of wooden bats…….however, they appear to have all gone missing, assumed borrowed and not returned.

We are therefore having an ‘bat amnesty’.  Please look at home, in your shed, or your car and return any bats to the workshop on your next visit.

The materials for the last set of bats cost £90.  John currently volunteers his time to make them for free.  Unfortunatley the time and cost is becoming unsustainable and therefore if you wish to take work home with you, please bring your own bats or something suitable.

WSP bats should remain in the workshop for all members to make use of.

If you are interested in making your own bats, they are made of marine ply or water resistant MDF.

Many thanks for your understanding.

Craft Fair Opportunity


I would like to let you know about an exciting opportunity to promote your work at a unique Craft Fair in Dorking on the weekend of 28 and 29 July 2012.

As part of the London 2012 Olympics, the cycling road race passes through Dorking on 28 and 29 July. Official estimates predict over 20,000 visitors to the town at that time.

Dorking Halls is on the route of the road race and is planning to make use of this unique opportunity to arrange a Craft Fair showcasing some of the best contemporary craftspeople. To make this event as accessible as possible we will not be charging any admission for visitors.

The road race brings with it some logistical issues, in that the road past the venue will be closed for much of Saturday 28 and Sunday 29th. Stall holders will set up on Friday 27 July and can dismantle either on Sunday evening or on the Monday morning. Overnight security will be provided each night so stall can be left set up for the duration. More information is on the attached sheet.

I have attached an Application Form and some information for your consideration. If you are interested in taking a stand, you will need to return the Application Form to me by 20th April. After that there will be a selection process and we will then contact you to let you know if we can offer you a space and ask you to complete an Acceptance Form.

Information for exhibitors

Application Form

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me, though I am on leave from 12-16 March. If you need to speak to someone before then you can call Stuart Cole on (01306) 879314.

I look forward to hearing from you,

Yours sincerely,


Keith Garrow,

General Manager,

Dorking Halls.

tel: (01306) 879311



For further information on events and facilities at Dorking Halls, visit our website at


Write up of Saggar firing experiment by Caroline Wilson from Julia’s Tuesday morning class.


Just to share with you my latest attempt with exploring marking pots by ‘smoking’ them – this time in a saggar.

Saggar firing has evolved as a way to achieve a result similar to pit-firing on a smaller scale.  A saggar is a lidded container which is used to contain and isolate a pot during its firing. Although originally invented to protect pots from harmful fumes inside the kiln, saggars can be used for exactly the reverse effect: to contain fumes around a pot to allow it to pick up colour from added ingredients.

I made a large cylinder (plus lid) from the recycled clay which was then biscuit fired.  Pots, previously burnished and biscuit fired, were placed inside the saggar on a bed of sawdust.  Some pieces had been wrapped in copper wire, anti slug copper tape, steel wool and masking tape.  A sprinkling of salt (inc seaweed), copper carbonate and fertilizer granules were added.

The saggar was then sealed with a clay coil and fired in the biscuit kiln for about 20 hours (the first 600 degrees taken very slowly).

Initial reaction on opening the lid after firing was a disappointed ‘oh’ as we looked at rather ‘grungy’ pots.  This turned into to excited ‘oohs & ahs’ as we started to clean them up and some extraordinary colours emerged. The steel wool and some of the granules have actually fused to the top of the largest piece. (photos were taken before final cleaning and before any polishing).

A further Saggar Firing (at a lower temperature) is planned before the end of term for anyone interested.  Details to follow.

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Shed and Calor Gas Store

We have had agreement to put up a shed outside to store the raku equipment.  We are also looking to install a cage to securley store the calor gas cylinders.

Before we look into the cost of purchasing new (cages are particularly expensive), it is worth checking to see if any member has anything that fits the bill or knows where to purchase from.